The annual EPIC2 Achievement Award is one way VMware recognizes outstanding members of our workplace community who exemplify our shared EPIC2 values – Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers, and Community – and make VMware a great company to work for. Get to know Emad Benjamin, one of our 2016 EPIC2 Achievement Award winners, and discover how his integrity and curiosity shape his daily journey.
Palo Alto, California, U.S.A.
Principal Architect and CTO Ambassador
VMware value that means the most to you: Integrity. I think integrity by far is the basis and the foundation of all of the other values because without it what we would do would hold no real value. No meaning. Everything else would crumble without integrity.
Hobbies: I spend time with my family. My wife and two boys. I also like to cook and travel.
People might not know:
- I’m an avid analyst. I always take the needed time to analyze information. Especially the kind of information we get from customers. Customers will often pose a problem or a challenge they’re having, I then will go away and think about it, sometime for days to come up with a solution. I get them to try the solution, and then, once they try it and I walk away from it I’m actually still thinking about it. Trying to determine “what if…” What if we did this versus something else? What would happen if…? So I tend to have a habit of locking information in for a very long time.
- I taught myself three other languages (in addition to my native language English) – Assyrian, Greek and Arabic. Assyrian is rooted in Aramaic. It’s a Biblical language. Whenever I get a chance to speak them I do.
- I love to travel. I like to go to cities that I’ve never been to before. I’m very intrigued by different cultures and I like to know the languages that they use. How the language has inspired their day-to-day life. What kind of cuisines they have. Why the cuisines are such. I like to spend time tracing the language and the cuisine back to the history of the city. Cultures from around the world and why they have developed inspire me.
- I love cars. My favorite car is not available in the U.S., but I keep pictures and drawings of it. It’s called the Marussia B2 – it’s a sports super car.
Best Quality: I’m a visionary, I would say, but with a pragmatic approach to bringing the vision to practice. I’m always dreaming about the different ways of technology and how it can be applied. I’m also very practical about what can actually be done that is practical and feasible.
Guilty Pleasure: That’s very easy. Chocolate. I like dark chocolate. So much so that people around me don’t believe that I like the 90% cocoa chocolate. And just to keep everyone around me not thinking that I am too crazy, I’ll buy the 75% cocoa just to kind of make them believe that I can keep the guilty pleasure at bay. But I love chocolate.
Inspiration: The challenges and the unique use cases that our customers have inspire me to come to VMware every day. And trying to figure out better solutions for them. That inspires me. But overall, what really drives me are the inspirational leaders that can reach across a divide and unite. Leaders that create peace for humanity. I’m big on that. And what else? I would say my children inspire me too. They always seem to have a unique perspective on technology. And my wife’s continuous support and motivation.
#1 passion: Making technology reliable, straightforward, and simple to use. I think elegant technology is really, really simple to use. And if it’s very simple to use, people will love it and adopt it just like the iPhone.
Occupation if money wasn’t an obstacle: I would like to be one of the the VMware CTOs. I’d love to have that job. I believe spending over 10 years at VMware has given me a unique perspective on the way VMware has grown and matured as a company, and how our customers have evolved with us. I have evolved with our customers and our product lines as they’ve changed over the years. I’ve witnessed the many opportunities and challenges that we’ve had as a company in such a highly competitive marketplace. I’ve seen how we’ve survived and thrived. I believe my ability to understand how the industry reacts to technology trends, and my understanding of the practical approaches of certain technology trends would help carry a CTO-level message.
Biggest takeaway from receiving the EPIC2 Achievement Award: I think receiving the award really demonstrates how VMware cares and goes out of its way to look after and recognize its employees. And not only that, they help out the community by giving back to a nonprofit of winner’s choice. And so, the greatest thing about the award has been the ability to direct a monetary donation to a nonprofit. That was huge for me.
*Each of the 2016 EPIC2 Achievement Award winners received a monetary donation called a Citizen Philanthropy Investment to direct to the nonprofit of their choice from the VMware Foundation.
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